Justin Maguire from Carrickedmond is set to take to the stage at The Helix in Dublin on Saturday night, March 9, after he was named as one of the finalists in this year’s Childline All-Ireland Talent Search.
“I’ve been getting great support from my classmates. There’s a bit of a buzz about the place – everyone’s hyped up for it,” said Justin, who is a student at the Mercy Secondary School in Ballymahon.
All through the competition, Justin has wowed judges and audiences alike with his unique form of Irish dancing. “I’ve been dancing since I was 5,” he explained. “I travel to Grainne Feeley in Kildare twice a week for classes and I still take part in competitions, but this was a bit different. It’s a more modern style, and I’ve been doing my own choreography and choosing my own tunes – a mix between traditional and pop.”
After coming through the local heats in Longford, Justin progressed to the Leinster Final in Mullingar, where he was voted through to the All-Ireland Semi-Finals, which took place in Castlebar last month. “There were 28 acts in the semis,” Justin said. “Three acts were voted through to the final by three judges, with the audience acting as a fourth judge by voting on the night. Each vote cost €1 and the money goes directly to Childline.”
In the final, he will be pitted against nine other acts, with judges and audience votes once again deciding the overall winner. The show will also be recorded and shown on RTÉ television on Saturday, March 16.
“I’d like to thank my family and everyone who has supported me so far,” said Justin, who also pointed out that every euro from each donation to Childline will equal one vote for him in the final. Anyone wishing to support Justin in his bid to become the All-Ireland Talent Search Champion can get further information by phoning Mercy Secondary School, Ballymahon on 090 6432267.